26 Sep 2019

Pacific seeks millions for zero carbon shipping plan

2:57 pm on 26 September 2019

A coalition of Pacific island nations wants to raise millions to ensure there is only zero carbon shipping across the Pacific by 2050.

A Pacific Basin Shipping boat on the water in Gisborne the morning of the earlier 7.1 earthquake and subsequent tsunami warning in the area.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The Guardian reported the Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership, announced on Tuesday at the UN climate action summit by the governments of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, has set an emissions reduction target of 40 percent by 2030, and full decarbonisation by 2050.

It wants to raise funding through multinational institutions, concessional loans, private sector investment and so called "blue bonds" to retrofit existing vessels with low-carbon technologies, and to buy new zero-emissions vessels.

The Pacific nations import 95 percent of their fuel and it accounts for, on average, 40 percent of their GDPs.

The Marshall Islands environment minister, David Paul, said securing funding would spark a "rapid transformation of our … shipping sector".

Peter Nuttall, a scientific and technical adviser for the Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport at the University of the South Pacific, told the Guardian that shipping was the "absolute lifeline" of any Pacific community.

India offers $US1 million development packages to Pacific

Meanwhile, India will give 12 Pacific countries threatened by rising sea levels $US1 million each for development projects.

Outlook India reported the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced the funding on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

He also announced a $US150 million credit facility for Pacific Small Island Developing States to undertake renewable energy and climate related projects.

Mr Modi said that like India, Pacific countries require development policies that reduce inequality and contribute to improvement of people's lives.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs